Volunteering Opens Doors for Culinary Students and Grads

Kendall College, November 11th, 2010 | Category: Alumni, Around Town, Inside Kendall
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School of Culinary Arts students are often presented with many opportunities to volunteer at special events that are being hosted at Kendall or around the city of Chicago. Of course, one obvious benefit is gaining valuable experience, but these events can result in very rewarding opportunities for professional growth, including internships and jobs.

This past September, culinary grad Brian Schreiber (B.A., Culinary Arts, 2010) volunteered through Kendall for Chicago Gourmet. He had no idea what he’d be doing, but when he arrived he decided to see if any restaurants needed help at the Hamburger Hop, a competition among the top 20 restaurants in Chicago who all had to do a twist on the traditional burger. Schreiber made his way to the booth of Terzo Piano, a restaurant in the modern wing of The Art Institute of Chicago that is owned by Tony Mantuano, who also owns Spiaggia Restaurant. Sure enough, they welcomed his help. Schreiber’s hard work impressed them so much that night that he received a job offer on the spot, which he accepted. He now works full-time at Terzo Piano as a prep cook where he “has his hands in everything,” as they make everything from scratch, even their ketchup! Schreiber loves his new job and also appreciates that the restaurant supports local family farms, farmers markets, artisan producers and sustainable seafood, all things that he learned about during his education at Kendall.

Natasha Washington, a student in her fourth block in the Culinary Arts B.A. program, had a similarly rewarding experience when she recently volunteered at a Buick event held on campus. Renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson was doing demos during the event and Washington ended up working with him and his sous chef in the kitchen over the two days. Samuelsson was so impressed with Washington that he invited her to come to New York for a six-month internship at his new restaurant called Red Rooster Harlem, scheduled to open this month. Washington will leave for her internship in January, but in the meantime she has been working with Samuelsson and his staff—training at his Chicago restaurant C-House, volunteering at Meals on Wheels and she also worked their booth at Chicago Gourmet. Washington views Samuelsson as her mentor and she can’t wait for her exciting journey to begin early next year!

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